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Local First Nations adding solar panels to rental housing

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Three local First Nations are adding solar panels to affordable rental housing through the Columbia Basin Trust.

“For several years, the Trust has been working with First Nations in the region to support their efforts to increase the availability and quality of affordable rental housing for community members,” said Mark Brunton, Senior Manager, Delivery of Benefits, Columbia Basin Trust in a release.

“By adding solar panels they will now be able to generate their own renewable energy and lower utility bills through net metering.”

Kenpésq̓t (Shuswap Indian Band) is adding solar panels to 13 affordable rental homes.

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Yaqan NuɁkiy (Lower Kootenay Band) is adding solar panels to six units.

They are also bringing fibre optic cable to four new units under construction.

“The installation of these solar panels for the new highly efficient small homes will not only provide training opportunities for Lower Kootenay Band members but will also allow these small homes to generate their own renewable energy,” said Debbie Edge-Partington, Housing Coordinator.

“Many houses at LKB are poorly insulated and energy-inefficient so having six new net-zero homes will have a big impact on energy bills.”

Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi’it (Tobacco Plains Indian Band) is adding solar panels to 12 units built since 2018.

All together the solar panels will generate approximately 200,000 kilowatt-hours per year, which will power about 31 homes.

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